Cooler Master MasterBox TD500 Mesh ATX Case Review

Cases, Reviews

Hardware Installation & Performance Evaluation

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The MasterBox TD500 Mesh includes two 3-way splitters for the RGB and PWM/power functions of its fans, along with a standard front-panel group, first-generation USB3 front-panel header, and an HD Audio front panel link.  

The TD500 Mesh even includes an ARGB controller, just in case your motherboard doesn’t have one.  Also included are M3 screws for 2.5” drives, #6-32 scews for the motherboard and power supply, eight grommets to fill the holes of two (out of four) 2.5” drive mounts, and eight threaded studs to fit 2.5” drives to those grommets.

The MasterBox TD500 Mesh is designed to show off the power supply’s logo, and it wouldn’t have much to show without the lighted side display of Cooler Master’s XG 750 Plus Platinum. Designed to display temperature, fanspeed and power consumption on the side, it includes a USB cable for full RGB control via Cooler Master’s MasterPlus+ software.

The surprise is that the TD500 Mesh is actually an Extended ATX case. Rated as supporting motherboards up to 10.7” deep, we measured an actual 13.8” of space before any motherboard would encounter that raised corner section in the upper right portion of the below photo. Since 13” is the maximum EATX spec, the only thing that prevents us from fully qualifying its EATX capability is the lack of forward edge support for 13”-deep boards (EATX is supposed to have three more standoffs). Cooler Master’s stated limitations appear entirely focused on its cable access hole placement, for which workarounds appear obvious…to us.

Though this article focuses on the case, we noticed that it shows off that power supply quite nicely.

System Configuration
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: 8 cores/ 16 threads, 32MB L3 Cache
O/C to 4.20 GHz (42x 100 MHz) at 1.3625 V Core
CPU Cooler Fractal Design Celsius S24 2x 120mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler
Motherboard MSI X570 Ace: AMD X570, Socket AM4
RAM PNY XLR8 MD32GK2D4320016XR: 2x 16GB DDR4-3200
T-Force Vulcan Z TLZGD416G3200HC16CDC0 DDR4-3200
Graphics Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G: GeForce RTX 2070
1815 MHz GPU, GDDR6-14000, Maximum Fan When Listed
Hard Drives Toshiba OCZ RD400 256GB NVMe SSD
Sound Integrated HD Audio
Network Integrated Gigabit Networking
Power Cooler Master XG 750 Plus Plantinum: Fully modular, 80Plus Platinum
Test Configuration
Load Software AIDA 64 Engineer Version 6.00.5100, Stress CPU, FPU, Cache, GPU
H/W Monitoring HWiNFO64 v6.28-4200
SPL Monitoring Galaxy CM-140 SPL Meter: Tested at 1/4 m, corrected to 1 m (-12 dB)
Test Results

The tough part about reading case performance charts is remembering that lower is better for both temperatures and noise. When we got that to stick, we realized that the TD500 Mesh produced lower CPU temperatures than any of the four cases that preceded it. This probably means that the intake fans are quite powerful.

Lower voltage regulator temperatures generally correspond to ideal positioning of our closed loop cooler’s fans in relation to the voltage regulator’s heat sink. The TD500 Mesh does this.

Lower chipset temperatures also indicate superior airflow, but at a lower portion of the motherboard. In fact, this portion aligns with the graphics card, so we expect that to also show a temperature improvement.

Even though it barely edges out the Gamdias Talos E3 in GPU cooling, the TD500 Mesh remains the temperature winner in all categories.

Remember what we said about the fans, and notice that the MasterBox TD500 Mesh is the noisiest of the four cases. These results would look even worse if not for the GPU fan’s noise overwhelming that of the TD500 Mesh’s front-panel fans. In real-world use, we’d just set these to automatic (motherboard) RPM control to get much less noise at somewhat higher temperatures.

The TD500 Mesh drops to second place in cooling-to-noise ratio, but its thermals still shine.

The MasterBox TD500 Mesh wins, but which one does it deserve? Two things that chisel value off this sub-$100 case is that it lacks a USB3 Type-C port (or a Gen2 front-panel cable to connect it) and that it has only enough mounting hardware to deploy two of its four 2.5” drive mounts. That level of economization is difficult to accept on a $100 case…even if it’s actually priced 1-2% under that mark.

Cooler Master MasterBox TD500 Mesh
Pros: Cons:
  • Class-leading cooling performance.
  • Triple ARGB fans with splitter cables.
  • Includes ARGB controller.
  • Separator-free slot panel for vertical card adapters.
  • No front fan filter.
  • No Type-C/Gen2 Front Panel connector/cable.
  • Limited installation kit.
  • Top cooling comes at moderately-high noise.
The Verdict:
The MasterCase TD500 Mesh offers high-end cooling to budget builders who are willing to sacrifice a few basic features.

While we’d rather pay a few dollars more to get a case with a front-panel Type-C connection and better dust filtration, those who focus their budget entirely on performance parts will just laugh at us and buy the TD500 Mesh anyway. As well they should: That’s why it got our stamp of approval.

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